It’s not surprising that many people use Botox, although it is pretty shocking just how many. Not only administered by plastic surgeons and dermatologists, Botox® Cosmetic is now commonly seen in spas, salons, and even in dental offices. It’s a cash cow procedure to the tune of 2.8 billion dollars in sales worldwide in 2016 alone. Not all Botox is used cosmetically; a percentage is used for conditions like migraines, overactive bladder, and spastic limbs. Botox -- otherwise known as Dysport® and Xeomin® -- is so common you’d think there weren’t any risks or side effects. Think again.
What is Botulism?
Botulism is a type of poisoning transmitted through food, contaminated soil, or through an open wound. Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which is 40 million times more powerful than cyanide. If ingested, botulinum toxin paralyzes muscles throughout the body, causing breathing difficulties to the point of death.
Botox Cosmetic is manufactured from a type A strain of Clostridium botulinum which purposely causes weakening of the muscles when injected in tiny amounts; which, when used on the face, improves the appearance of wrinkles. The Botox insert states that there have been no reported cases of people contracting botulism from Botox injections used in professional clinical situations. But, take a look at the overlap of symptoms of botulism and the side effects of Botox:
Additional Botox Side Effects
The FDA added a safety warning in 2009 that states the toxin “may spread from the area of injection to produce symptoms consistent with botulism toxin effects. These symptoms have been reported hours to weeks after an injection. Swallowing and breathing difficulties can be life threatening and there have been reports of death.”
This is important to note - weeks after an injection. And the side effects after an injection can include flu-like symptoms, headache, cough, sore throat, and a respiratory infection. Rarely does anyone relate flu-like symptoms such as a cold or cough, or breathing issues with a seemingly benign injection for wrinkles four or more weeks earlier. And rarely does a doctor or injector even share the potential side effects. Often Botox is used on women over the age of 50 where some of the side-effects get lumped into symptoms of “old-age”.
Maybe you’ve noticed some of these other reported symptoms:
Shortness of breath
Do your research, know the risks. Listen to your body, and if you do choose to use Botox, keep a health journal for three months; starting the day you’re injected. Write down how you feel and any health issues you have on a day-to-day basis, so you can start to see any patterns that emerge pointing to toxicity or low immunity. Be your own best advocate; it’s your body and just because something hasn’t been reported by someone else or found in a study, does not mean you’re not experiencing it.
Impaired Neuronal Communication Syndrome (INCS)
A complicated sounding term created by neurologist Anna Hristova, MD based on her research of Botox and Botulinum type A - Impaired Neuronal Communication Syndrome is an adverse reaction to Botox. She defines it as, a disease of toxin-induced impairment ...of the autonomic nervous system with no identifiable anatomical cell damage. No identifiable anatomical cell damage means it’s not found in blood work. The most common and disabling impairments she found were shortness of breath, palpitations, dizziness, dry mouth, dry eyes and stuffy nose. Sometimes the intensity is severe, especially of the shortness of breath. The patients describe it as “not being able to take a deep breath,” “involuntary arrest of breathing for several seconds,” and, “need to constantly remind the self to breathe.” These are serious effects, remember, death from botulism is due to breathing difficulties.
Supplement Solutions for Detoxing
Do we really want to pay to have a poisonous neuro-inhibitor injected into our faces just to look younger? Well I’m not one to judge so if you do, here’s how to eliminate some of the toxicity safely.
Sweating helps to release the toxin so exercise and sauna are beneficial. First and foremost; water. It’s said, nature’s solution to pollution is dilution, so hydration is essential in the process of detox.
Homeopathic Botulinum 30C - just what is sounds like, the homeopathic version of the botulinum toxin, in an energetic medicine.
Vitamin C - A powerful antioxidant that helps immune health, promoting detox. 1000mg/day.
Milk Thistle - an herb that helps protect the liver from toxins, important during a detox doctor for a full detox protocol. It’s not all in your head.
Glutathione - An antioxidant needed for normal, efficient detoxification.
If you’re having severe symptoms such as those described above, see a Functional Medicine doctor for a full detox protocol. It’s not all in your head. There are Facebook pages dedicated to Botox detox support.
To report suspected adverse reactions, contact the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.